How To Keep Your Produce Fresh
Some of our favorite organic fruits and organic vegetables are seasonal, which can really be a bummer when you’re craving some produce that’s out of season. Fortunately, however, there are ways to enjoy some of your favorite organic food options out of season. Here at Organic Restaurants, we’re familiar with a few different ways to “preserve the harvest” and keep some of our favorite fruits and vegetables around for meals and snacks even when it’s not their peak season.
You can safely freeze a variety of organic fruits and vegetables with the right preparation and supplies. The cold and dry freezer environment kills the bacteria that would normally cause produce to spoil. Expect frozen fruits and veggies to last three months to a year.
Keep in mind that different products will need different prep for the freezer. Berries should be washed and dried, and then it’s beneficial to freeze them individually lined up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then they can be put together for storage, and you don’t have to worry about a bunch of frozen berries getting stuck together in one useless lump! It’s definitely wise to look into specific freezing methods for the produce that you’re trying to preserve.
Many different produce items can be made into products that can be canned. Canning preserves foods that have been heat treated and seals them in containers. It’s called “canning,” but glass jars are actually one of the most commonly used tools of preservation here. Can jams, sauces, and marmalades made from organic fruits and vegetables. All of these products will last longer than fresh produce would have. Canning can give certain products a shelf life of one to five years.
Some people prefer to ferment their vegetables in a bid to extend their shelf life. This can give foods a unique taste and fermented foods can even provide health benefits, like improved gut health.
Also known as dehydrating, drying is a great way to keep seasonal fruit around for longer. Many types of dry fruit are delicious and they’re actually quite versatile as well. Carry some around as a snack, either on its own or as part of a trail mix. Add it to breakfast foods, like granola and cereal. Dried fruits can even be used to bake a few different things, including cookies and snack bars. A food dehydrator is a useful tool here, but there are also ways to dry certain types of produce in the oven if you don’t feel like investing in more appliances and kitchen tools. All you need to do is crack the oven door open a bit and bake the product you want to dehydrate at low temperatures. Expect most dried fruits and food products to last for around a year.
For More Organic Fruit and Vegetable Ideas
Take full advantage of all of these preservation methods and start enjoying your favorite organic food options on your own terms. Then keep an eye on the Organic Restaurants website for more information about how you can make the most out of your favorite organic fruits and vegetables each season!